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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury Streets, Squares, and Buildings

Lucas Estate

Estates in Bloomsbury

1 Duke of Bedford
2 City of London Corporation
3 Capper Mortimer
4 Fitzroy (Duke of Grafton)
5 Somers
6 Skinners' (Tonbridge)
7 Battle Bridge
8 Lucas
9 Harrison
10 Foundling Hospital
11 Rugby
12 Bedford Charity (Harpur)
13 Doughty
14 Gray's Inn
15 Bainbridge–Dyott (Rookeries)

Area between the Foundling and Harrison estates: Church land

Grey areas: fragmented ownership and haphazard development; already built up by 1800

About the Lucas Estate

This seven-acre estate in the north-east of Bloomsbury was originally part of the Peperfield area of the Harrison estate, but became separated from it in the eighteenth century (Survey of London, vol. 24, 1952)

Its owner at the beginning of the nineteenth century was Joseph Lucas, a tin plate worker, who decided in 1801 to develop the land (Survey of London, vol. 24, 1952)

The estate was a small strip with a curved top, stretching from the area of the Boot pub to Gray’s Inn Road

Its main street when developed was Cromer Street, which was begun in 1801, and known as Lucas Street after the landowner until 1834 (Survey of London, vol. 24, 1952)

The origin of other street names on the estate remains obscure

Greenland Place

Not to be confused with Greenland Place, Camden, near Regent’s Park

It was in the north-east of Bloomsbury, forming the original western end of Cromer Street (west of what is now Tonbridge Street)

According to the Survey of London, some houses were built here possibly as early as 1741, well before the development of Cromer Street itself in the early nineteenth century, and the street appears in the Land Tax books for 1794 (Survey of London, vol. 24, 1952)

In the eighteenth century this was supposedly the location of an ice-house; it was also opposite the Golden Boot alehouse and associated buildings

No. 4 was the home of “Mr P. M.”, a Frenchman who advertised classes in French, Spanish, and Italian in The Times (The Times, 7 October 1816)

Greenland Place was the family home in the 1820s of James Jonathan Hughes Lucas, a plasterer, and his wife Elizabeth (née Pearman); their sons Charles and Thomas, who became Lucas Brothers builders and railway contractors, were born here in 1820 and 1822 respectively (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)

The family’s relationship to Joseph Lucas, the owner of the estate in 1801, is unclear

At some point during the nineteenth century, after the 1841 census and apparently before the publication of Weller’s map of 1868, this name ceased to be used for the end of Cromer Street

This page last modified 14 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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